They say that a week is a long time in football. The last fortnight has dragged on for those on the outside at Ibrox but flown by for those inside a decision that will define reputations and determine Rangers’ fate for the foreseeable future.

The appointment of Philippe Clement as manager on Sunday morning brought an end to a process that had begun even before the conclusion of Michael Beale’s tenure. An era that was short-lived and unsuccessful must now give way to one that is prolonged and trophy-laden.

Clement has already notched up his first win in some regards. By beating Kevin Muscat to the top job at Ibrox, he has earned himself a crack at more significant honours as he looks to add to a curriculum vitae that already boasts three Belgian Pro League titles with Genk and Club Brugge. His finest days as a player also came in blue and black as two First Division medals and three Belgian Cups were collected.

When John Bennett, the Rangers chairman, and chief executive officer James Bisgrove were compiling their list of prerequisites for managerial candidates, a proven history of being able to build winning teams was one that extra emphasis was placed on. Out of all the boxes that Clement ticks, that is one of the most telling.

In the statement that was released to confirm the appointment, Bennett stated that "Philippe proved to be the outstanding candidate across all the key criteria, reinforced by his track record of winning titles". His most recent title is perhaps his most enlightening. Clement returned to Brugge after lifting the Pro League with Genk and made it back-to-back triumphs in 2020. There was a danger that his rivals could have figured out how to combat and overcome his side, and perhaps an even greater one that his squad did not have the motivation to go again after regaining the trophy.

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Both fears were unfounded as Clement proved himself as a serial winner. His failure at Monaco, his last job before putting pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half-year contract in Glasgow, came at a time when prized assets were sold for eye-watering sums as Aurélien Tchouaméni moved to Real Madrid, Sofiane Diop joined Nice and Chelsea signed Benoît Badiashile.

Clement has a presence about him, an emotional intelligence, and he is a figure that commands respect in a dressing room through words and actions. Those traits also apply to Graeme Souness, the Ibrox legend who provided a valuable sounding board to Bennett and Bisgrove throughout the interview process. It was one which saw several candidates spoken to during meetings in London or via video call. Other potential managers were sounded out, while a host of names that were put forward were quickly played down. By the start of last week, Rangers had their final shortlist.

Oliver Glasner, the former Eintracht Frankfurt manager, made it known that he would be interested in a move to Glasgow but later refused to publicly address links to the position.  A handful of interviews were conducted but only a couple of names ever made it into the public domain. Links to Scott Parker, Ryan Lowe and Billy Davies were dismissed by Ibrox sources, while the feeling amongst the support was taken into account as an interest in Frank Lampard went no further than an initial meeting in the city where he became a Chelsea legend.

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Clement’s name had been prominent since the outset. Rangers had compiled a data-driven directory of managers while Beale was still in situ as part of their succession planning as the board considered all eventualities whilst faith was eroded in the Englishman. As the days were ticked off, the updates became scarcer as conversations were held behind the scenes. It was all edging towards an evident conclusion.

The insight – from the perspective of a player as well as a manager - that Souness was able to provide to his former club proved invaluable. Supporters will now make their own judgements on Clement’s character as his players form their views on his philosophy.

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The appointment of Steven Davis and Alex Rae on an interim basis bought Bennett and Bisgrove time but the date of Monday, October 16 was always circled on the calendars at Ibrox. New ideas will now be imparted and new relationships formed at a time when Rangers have points to earn and to prove.

Clement arrived in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon and now has a full week to prepare for the visit of Hibernian in his first match in charge. He will be presented in the Blue Room on Tuesday as he holds his maiden press conference as the figurehead of what he described as "one of Europe’s most iconic clubs" upon his appointment.

The Belgian is just the 19th permanent manager in the 151-year history of Rangers but the fact that he is the third to be appointed since Steven Gerrard’s departure in November 2021 tells its own story. The need to ensure that this tenure is a long and successful one was always at the back of the mind for Bennett, Bisgrove and those board members – spread across the globe from America to the Far East as well as closer to home – that have signed off on Clement rather than pursued a move for Muscat.

The Australian had his backers, but he also had other issues to contend with as he attempted to keep Yokohama F. Marinos on course for the J League title. As Clement was being confirmed as Rangers manager, Muscat saw his side lose a J League Cup semi-final to Urawa Red Diamonds. The belief that Clement is the right man at the right time has been enshrined in black and white and a contract until 2027 is proof of a shared commitment. Sustained success will only come through continuity and the recent trend of hiring and firing is not conducive to that, nor part of Rangers’ identity.

Titles and trophies are, though. Like all of those that have gone before Clement, that is how he will be measured and supporters – those who approved of his arrival and those who are still sceptical – will expect to see a defined style of play implemented in due course. The performances and the results must go hand in hand as Rangers attempt to erode the seven-point deficit to Celtic.

The defeat to Aberdeen last month that made that mission almost impossible proved to be Beale’s final match in charge. His exit had been coming for some time, though, and Rangers can now only hope that too much damage – both in football and financial terms – has not been self-inflicted.

The challenge has not put Clement off. A fortnight after sacking Beale, Rangers have their man. It had been a two-horse race throughout the closing stages and the coming months will determine if those directors and investors have backed a winner or not.

Clement’s coaching capabilities will quickly be put to the test. The visit of Hibernian is followed by a Europa League clash in Prague and Hearts and Dundee provide further Premiership opposition before the Viaplay Cup semi-final with the Jambos that could open up Clement’s first shot at glory.

The 49-year-old will be assisted by countryman Stephane van der Heyden, while another right-hand man – one with a knowledge of Scottish football and previous association with Rangers – will also join the coaching staff as Colin Stewart is retained to oversee the goalkeeping department. One of Clement’s first conversations will be with Davis and Rae as he seeks to gain an insight into the squad that he has inherited at Ibrox.

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It is one that will require a quick assessment. The timing of his arrival and the congested nature of the upcoming schedule means that time for substantial alterations tactically is tight and the focus in the first instance will be to inject some confidence back into a group that have underperformed and underachieved over the first months of the campaign.

Clement will naturally wish to embark on his own recruitment process and funds will be made available, where possible, for signings to be made. Rangers will continue to be run in a financially stable and sustainable way but there is an acknowledgement from the board and the investors that more players will have to come into the club just weeks after Beale was backed with around £13million to build a group in his name and his image.

Clement will now be given that same opportunity. It is a chance that too many have failed to make the most of in recent seasons and Rangers cannot afford to be back in this situation in another 12 months. If that is the case, their status as the ‘world’s most successful club’ will be well and truly under threat from across the city.

Rangers have been studious and made their call. For the sake of everyone from the boardroom to the dressing room, and especially those in the stands, it simply must be time, money and effort well spent.